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No. 7 Texas faces Texas A&M-Commerce to gear up for Big 12

Dec 21, 2022; Austin, Texas, USA; Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns forward Jordan Brown (21) looks to pass the ball while defended by Texas Longhorns forward Brock Cunningham (30) during the second half at Moody Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

No. 7 Texas will try to build momentum for the Big 12 Conference season when it hosts Texas A&M-Commerce on Tuesday in Austin, Texas.

The Longhorns (10-1) will play their final tune-up for the anticipated league gauntlet after putting together perhaps their best overall game of the season, an easy 100-72 win over Louisiana at home on Wednesday.

Freshman Arterio Morris scored a career-high 25 points on 9-of-11 shooting while Marcus Carr and Timmy Allen added 17 points apiece for Texas, which shot a season-best 58.1 percent from the floor, earned a 35-29 edge in rebounding, racked up 23 assists and made 16 of its 17 free throws.

Tyrese Hunter and Christian Bishop scored 10 points apiece for the Longhorns, who reached the century mark for the first time since scoring 105 points on Nov. 10, 2017, against Northwestern State and rolled over a Louisiana team that was considered one of the top mid-majors in the nation.

“Offensive flow (was great) — these guys are a very unselfish team,” Texas interim coach Rodney Terry said. “On any given night, we can have anybody be the leading scorer. But again, we gotta share the ball, move the ball.

“We worked really hard at trying to get these guys to understand how hard it is to get that ball moving. If we’re able to get that ball moving side to side, then we’ll attack and try to own the Big 12 a little bit. We’ll get some opportunities for some of our guys.”

Texas played its third game without coach Chris Beard, who was suspended on Dec. 12 for felony domestic assault and is not with the team. On Friday, Beard’s accuser recanted some of the allegations made against the coach, who is her fiancee, but Beard has not been reinstated.

The Longhorns’ players have not been made available to the media since Beard’s arrest. Texas has won all three games in Beard’s absence and four straight overall.

Texas A&M-Commerce (4-9), which plays in the Southland Conference, heads to Austin after a 62-52 loss to IUPUI in the Indiana Classic last Tuesday. The Lions fought back from a 14-point first-half deficit to pull within two points but could never get over the hump in the setback, their fifth straight.

Kalen Williams and Demarcus Demonia led A&M-Commerce with 10 points apiece in the loss. The Lions were held to 38.5 percent shooting from the floor and made just 2 of 18 attempts from beyond the arc.

“We couldn’t get anything going really on either side of the ball,” A&M-Commerce coach Jaret von Rosenberg said. “We just couldn’t put any consistency together inside. It’s disappointing.”

The Lions have played 12 of their 13 games on the road, including the past six. They have wins this year against Air Force and Hawaii.

“Obviously we have one more game on the road, and we’ve got everything we need in that locker room to be competitive,” von Rosenberg added.

Texas has won all five of the previous games between the schools, but they haven’t played since December 1962.

–Field Level Media

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